Welcome to our first installment of Americans Abroad, a monthly roundup of how American cyclists have been this past month in the pro peloton. It was, however expectantly, not a particularly eventful January for the Americans, with no wins to show for all the hard effort they put in for their teams.
The 2017 road season started in the Southern Hemisphere, with some of our favorite riders representing the Stars and Stripes in the Tour Down Under: the veteran Tyler Farrar (Dimension Data), Michael’s favorite cyclist Alex Howes (Cannondale-Drapac), the fully recovered pure climber Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo), and Koala poser Alexey Vermeulen (LottoNL-Jumbo). All finished the first World Tour race, with Stetina faring the best with a respectable 22nd on the climb to Paracombe behind Richie Porte (BMC) in stage 2 and finishing 29th overall.
Also in Australia, Aqua Blue Sport’s signing from the former IAM Cycling team Larry Warbasse as well as United Healthcare’s Tanner Putt (The Polar Bear) and star signing of the offseason Travis McCabe raced in, and finished, the third annual, and now World Tour event, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, but it was Vermeulen who took home a respectable 36th, finishing in the main bunch. Howes and Stetina started but did not finish the long one day event.
Soon afterward in Argentina, UHC’s Luke Keough managed to finish twice in the top 10 at the Vuelta a San Juan, 7th and 5th in stages 2 and 4 respectively. Additionally, our national champ Greg Daniel, riding for Trek-Segafredo, showed off his Stars and Stripes jersey for the first time as a World Tour rider in Argentina.
All of this pales in comparison, though, to Team Sky’s Ian Boswell placing 8th in the 3rd day of the Mallorca Challenge, a sign of good early form from the climber.
The best chance of bringing World Tour results to the States in February will most likely be the Abu Dhabi Tour, where the aforementioned Boswell and BMC’s Tejay van Garderen will try their hand at the ascent of Jebel Hafeet climb on Stage 3 of the Middle Eastern event.
Our Time Trial national champ Taylor Phinney will start his season off at the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal this month as well, most likely targeting the Stage 3 time trial won last year by the now retired Olympic TT gold medalist Fabian Cancellara.
Stay tuned for what we hope to be a far more eventful February from the Americans.
-Grupetto Chat America